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Madden v. Cronson

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 3, 1986.

WILLIAM M. MADDEN, ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS COURTS, PLAINTIFF,

v.

ROBERT G. CRONSON, AUDITOR GENERAL, DEFENDANT.



Original action for writ of mandamus.

JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Pursuant to our Rule 381(a) (87 Ill.2d R. 381(a)), plaintiff, William M. Madden, in his capacity as the Acting Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, filed a motion for leave to file a complaint requesting that this court issue a writ of mandamus ordering defendant, Robert G. Cronson, Auditor General, to audit the funds appropriated by the General Assembly to the Supreme Court and disbursed at its direction by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. Plaintiff's motion was allowed.

The complaint alleged that during the period commencing with his appointment to the office of Auditor General, through June 30, 1978, defendant conducted financial audits of all public funds appropriated by the General Assembly to the Supreme Court; that from the end of fiscal year 1979 until the present, defendant has failed and refused to conduct such audits; that Roy O. Gulley, then Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, by letter dated December 11, 1985, requested that defendant audit said funds and that defendant refused to do so and persists in his refusal to conduct such audits.

Defendant filed a document styled "Special and limited appearance and motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction based on due process grounds" in which he contends that this court is "disqualified and lacking in jurisdiction" for the reason that "it would be trying its own case in violation of [defendant's] due process rights." He states therein that plaintiff is "an agent and employee of the Supreme Court" and that the instant action "could not conceivably have been filed by [plaintiff] except upon the express direction of the court and in its behalf." Defendant also alleges that the court is without jurisdiction "on due process grounds because of disqualifying bias in having prejudged adversely to [defendant] an issue of the [defendant's] auditing authority which is inseparably related to the issue presented in this cause." Defendant states that "he has not audited the funds appropriated to the court since the end of fiscal year 1978 due to his conviction that he may not perform fragmentary or selective audits." Defendant's motion was denied and a briefing schedule was set. Defendant advised the clerk of this court that for reasons stated in the "special and limited appearance," he would not file a brief. Subsequently, defendant instituted an action in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois seeking relief under section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1982)) and for an injunction to stay further proceedings in this court. The district court denied injunctive relief, and its order was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The matter was set for oral argument before this court, and defendant did not appear.

The position taken by defendant apparently stems from the failure to distinguish between the issues in this case and those presented in a cause pending in the circuit court. Involved in the other cause is the question whether defendant is authorized to audit the funds of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and the Board of Law Examiners. That question is irrelevant to the issues presented in this case.

Article VIII of the Constitution of 1970, in pertinent part, provides:

"SECTION 2. STATE FINANCE * * *

(b) The General Assembly by law shall make appropriations for all expenditures of public funds by the State. Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year." Ill. Const. 1970, art. VIII, sec. 2(b).

"SECTION 3. STATE AUDIT AND AUDITOR GENERAL

(a) * * * The General Assembly, by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house, shall appoint an Auditor General and may remove him for cause by a similar vote. * * *

(b) The Auditor General shall conduct the audit of public funds of the State. He shall make additional reports and investigations as directed by the General Assembly. * * *" Ill. Const. 1970, art. VIII, secs. 3(a),(b).

The Illinois State Auditing Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 15, par. 301-1 et seq.), in pertinent part, provides:

"`Public funds of the State' has the meaning ascribed to that term in Article VIII of the Constitution." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 15, par. 301-18.

In the exercise of its constitutional duty to regulate the admission and discipline of the bar, this court adopted Rules 702 (87 Ill.2d R. 702) and 751 (103 Ill.2d ...


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